New mops save drinking water

Reducing our environmental footprint means looking at everything we do. It all counts, even mops for cleaning floors. A new type of mop used by our cleaning services supplier Eurest saves thousands of litres of water every year, is better to work with ergonomically and ensures cleaner surfaces.

The i-mop is a new kind of mop used to clean floors at DFDS House and Harbour House. It uses 18 litres less water than a manual mop requires to do the same job, every day. We have three of them. This might not sound like a lot, but everything counts in the bigger picture. 

“Our use and handling of water, waste, electricity and transport are all areas we are looking into to get our house in order, says CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft. The i-mop cleans better, is easier to handle and saves water. It is a great example of how every little thing matters when it comes to reducing our footprint. We truly value working with sustainability-thinking partners like our cleaning services supplier Eurest. We want our partners and customers to expect the same from us – that we always strive to improve, do better and emit less. 

Do you have an example of how you’re saving water, electricity, waste or kilometres where you work? Get in touch 

4 things you need to know 

HR Director Nordic and Baltics Karolina Landin and CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft provide a guide to what to do if the “How we deal with each other part” of the Code of Conduct is violated:

How we engage with each other has a big impact on our work environment and company culture. The DFDS Code of Conduct details what this means. 

HR Director Nordic and Baltics Karolina Landin and CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft provide a guide to what to do if a breach to the “Our dealings with each other” part of the Code of Conduct does occur:


1. Keep your eyes open 

“At DFDS, we have zero tolerance of any form of physical, verbal or non-verbal discrimination or harassment. We expect everyone to report unfair treatment if they experience it themselves or see it happening to a colleague. Even if you’re not directly involved, you’re obliged to report it. It is our joint responsibility to make sure that our colleagues have a safe and caring work environment,” says CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft. 


2. Report it immediately 

If youre mistreated or witness a case of mistreatment of others, please report it as soon as possible. Either to your direct manager, your local HR department, to the EMT or anonymously through the DFDS Compliance Line. Regardless of who you choose to go to, we have a solid process in place to handle it. We carefully investigate every single case neutrally and carefully and act immediately. And please remember that it is important to speak up immediately, so that we can quickly take action.” Karolina says.  


3. We always take you seriously 

We always take the situation seriously – unfair treatment is not something we accept in DFDS. All reporting leads to an investigation. A neutral party like HR always gets involved and assesses what’s happened, in order to take the necessary actionWe can’t say beforehand what the investigation will result in, but you can be certain that you will be heard, treated fairly and that we do everything we can to respect the sensitivity of the situation and ensure that the unfortunate incident does not happen again,” Karolina says. 


4. Do not fear repercussions 

As an employer we have a responsibility to secure an inclusive work environmentWhen mistreatment has been reported, we always investigate it discretely, neutrally and with respect for all involved parties. You should feel safe and not fear personal repercussions. Remember, if you don’t report unfair treatmentDFDS cannot do anything to fix the situation, and it is always your right and responsibility to let us know if our Code of Conduct is violated,” Karolina says. 


The “Our dealings with each other section” of our Code of Conduct also states the DFDS approach and how to act in terms of Human Rights, Diversity and Inclusion and GDPR.

 Find it here 

Climate plan: how do we measure its effect?

A few weeks ago, The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a charity that runs a global environmental disclosure system for investors, companies, cities and states, sent a letter to companies emitting substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. The letter urged the companies to use science-based targets (SBTi) in line with the Paris Agreement to avert climate change. 

DFDS was one of three Danish companies to receive this letter.

We have a new climate plan and concrete initiatives in place to bring down our relative emissions by 45% by 2030 and make us climate neutral by 2050. Therefore, setting science-based targets based on the standards to come for the shipping industry is a natural next step for us. This will help us support the movement towards more transparency in global companies’ CO2 commitments and results, says Sofie Hebeltoft, CSR Director 

It is not as easy as it seems, though. The Science Based Targets method is based on the principle that different industries take responsibility for a percentage of global emissions based on their size. However, there is no standard for shipping yet, no framework to use for our particular industry. Different instances have opposing standards for measurement and we end up documenting the same numbers in several different ways,” says Sofie 

Therefore, we are happy that they are now planning a way of setting targets that matches the nature of the shipping industry, and which we hope will reflect how we operate and which we can navigate with,” Sofie says. 

And we should not forget that we have come really far with the harder part of the work: A plan that ensures we reach our targets.” 

Immingham feels electric

Frances Williams, HR Director UK & Ireland, and Andrew Byrne, Managing Director in Immingham, at his fully electric vehicle

Getting the house in order is the third track in our climate plans. It deals with the 10% of our total emissions not derived from ship. Facilities, terminal equipment, trucks in logistics, how our buildings consume energy and, what vehicles we use all matter when we measure our environmental impact. 

So in order to ensure we are doing our part to make a difference locallywe are encouraging our colleagues who are eligible for a company car to make a good choice  for the environmental sustainability by making it easier to opt for an electric vehicle.   

We will focus on improving the electric and hybrid vehicle options for example by providing financial assistance alongside the government funded support for the installation of home charging stations. 

Did you know that electricity is not currently considered a taxable fuel for taxable benefit calculation purposes in the UK. This means electricity that is received whilst charging your vehicle on one of our sites is a non-taxable benefit. In addition to this the UK government is not taxing fully electric vehicles at all at the moment, which means that your motoring could be largely free of any charges. 

We are very proud to support our Climate Plan in this way and we already have some members of our senior leadership team taking the lead with their vehicle choices. 

Climate Plan – The long-term track

Watch this video and get a better understanding of what the long-term track of the Climate Plan entails.

Jakob Steffensen, Innovation Lead, explains the three focus areas that make up the long-term track.

Diversity makes us stronger

Last week, 200 managers worked on concrete ways of making DFDS even more diverse and inclusive, at this year’s Management Conference. Our differences make us stronger and in Covid-19 times, it is more important than ever to have and foster an inclusive work-environment, for us all to strive, grow and not feel isolated.

“Striving for a diverse workforce and being an inclusive employer is just the right thing to do,” says CPO Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel. “We know that we are stronger as a company if our staff differs in gender as well as race, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation, age, level of education and socioeconomic status. Diverse teams make better decisions and we want DFDS to be a place where people thrive and are cared for.”

At this year’s management conference, 200 managers worked on concrete ways of getting a more diverse workforce and how to enable strong remote leadership, in a time where social interactions are limited due to Covid-19.


30% females in 2023

“We are working hard to change the perception of the industry as a male-dominated one and make it more attractive to women. All over DFDS, managers are now looking into how they can attract more women to come work for us. We aim to have 30% female employees in 2023. We’ve already reached that target when it comes to the Board and in certain other locations like the regional office of BU Med. But there’s still a way to go in other areas,” Anne-Christine says. “And even if the gap seems big, we know that we have untapped potential in ensuring that every manager, in any process where they hire, promote or allocate people to assignments, run open and transparent processes to ensure the best person for the job. This has not always been the procedure historically but needs to be going forward”. 

Remote leadership skills need strengthening

In Covid-19 times, the global feeling of self-isolation is on the rise, as are fears of the virus, being made redundant and the stress that may come with working from home. “We have done well in transitioning into virtual ways of working during the first phase of the pandemic. But looking into a continued remote working environment, we need to professionalise our remote leadership skills, to ensure longer term organisational belonging and engagement,” says CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft. “We all, and managers in particular, need to structure how we deal with each other, share clear goals, do the necessary individual follow-up and be conscious of how we can help nurture a sense of belonging.”

The entire EMT and all VPs have pledged to find ways of driving the diversity and inclusion agenda in DFDS. They’re looking for opportunities to push the gender balance, in promotions, re-hires and projects. They’re also strengthening their remote leadership skills to ensure that everyone can be heard and feel that they are a valued member of the DFDS team.

“We need to think diversity into everything we do,” Sofie says. It is not just an exercise that sounds good on paper. This is about the future of the company and making sure that we get, keep and nurture the best candidates for the job, regardless of backgrounds and other factors.”

Climate plan involves us all

Getting the house in order is the third track in our Climate Plan and deals with the 10% of our total emissions not derived from ships: facilities, terminal equipment, trucks in logistics, how our buildings consume energy and what vehicles we use all matter when we measure our impact. Reducing our carbon footprint requires everyone’s efforts.

”When we say plan, we mean a plan for every aspect of our business,” says CSR Director Sofie Hebeltoft. “Carbon emissions are just part of our footprint. We need to look at sustainability in a broader sense and take everything into account, the entire circle of procurement, production, use and waste. To me, bringing the house in order means dissecting all the every-day activities that have nothing to do with ship fuel and seeing how we can do things smarter and better.”


Home is where the footprint is – for many of us

Later this year, we introduce a group-wide project about individual local improvements, throughout our locations. Rather than simply look at and measure CO2 emissions, these local projects take a more holistic view. “How can we be wiser about electricity? How much of the energy we use is renewable? How do we move around and travel? How do we handle our waste? As locations are different, there is ample room for local interpretation and adaption. The good news is that this ‘bringing our house in order’ track is where those of us who don’t work with vessel fuel can make a difference and be just a little bit more sustainable in our actions and in our systems,” Sofie says.


Testing small to possibly apply on a grander scale later

The beauty of looking at all the smaller components of our carbon footprint is that we get to be creative, experiment and try new things. Maybe a new waste management system tested in one location proves to be so fruitful that the rest of us can benefit from it, too? Perhaps we could use methanol additives in our truck fuel to make diesel last longer – and if that works, perhaps we can also use it on our vessels?In general, we are trying to make our business more electric and less fuel-driven, and all these smaller initiatives are a great way of testing what works and what doesn’t.

“I can’t wait to start working with you all on this. This is a team effort like we’ve never tried before and I am eager to dig into ideas that are both inventive and pragmatic,” Sofie says.

DFDS has an ambitious Climate Plan that aims to make us climate neutral in 2050. It consists of three tracks:

  1. The short-term tonnage adaption plan deals mainly with fuel initiatives for ships covering the next ten years.
  2. The long-term plan will help us replace fossil fuels with a new generation of zero emission fuels.
  3. Getting the house in order deals with the 10% of our total emissions not ship-related: facilities, terminal equipment, trucks in our logistics division, how our buildings consume energy and what vehicles we use.


DFDS to phase out fossil fuels

DFDS wants to be climate neutral by 2050. This will not happen through energy savings and incremental improvements alone. We are looking into a completely new situation for our industry, where the type of vessels, how they are operated, how we fuel them, where we get fuel and how they connect to the necessary infrastructure will be radically different from how we operate today.

“Adapting or replacing your fleet is expensive,” says DFDS’s Head of Innovation and Partnerships, Jakob Steffensen. “We are constantly seeking information to be able to make the right long-term decisions to become climate neutral. But we lack information and knowledge about the new kinds of fuels and technologies that will run ships in the not too distant future.”


The right knowledge through open innovation and partners

“When you work with innovation – coming up with radical new solutions to existing and future challenges – you can go two ways to find the knowledge you need. You can buy knowledge by hiring people or you can cast a wider net and seek partnerships and joint ventures with other companies and organisations, to be able to get an even broader pool of knowledge and contacts. We choose to work in partnerships because it gives us access to bright minds working in other organisations,” Jakob says.

“Our many projects within decarbonisation and automation help us qualify our assumptions every day. They also help us understand how the rest of the marine industry and those connected to it go about reducing their emissions.”

The Innovation & Partnerships team has a project portfolio aimed at providing the answers and partners DFDS needs to become climate neutral. We are involved in a massive hydrogen factory in Copenhagen and we have the Ark Germania test vessel where we will test fuel cells, to name a few.


Investigating, trying, testing 

Changing the type of fuel on which a ship runs on is not a decision to be taken lightly. It has a massive impact on all aspects of our industry. Conclusions and choices are difficult to make as climate neutral fuels and technologies are still in their infancy. Some are more sophisticated and market-ready than others, but on a whole, there is very little out there that you can buy off the shelf, put it into your business and voilà – you reduce emissions. By doing joint investigative projects, we can go deep into theories and test them, without committing to specific technologies or equipment. And that is where we are now: investigating, trying, testing,” Jakob says.

“Some industry actors seem to be jumping to conclusions and placing their bets on one kind of fuel. It’s human nature to want to stick with what we understand. And if we see that a ship can run on methanol, some people may say ‘done! That’s what we’re choosing’. But the choice of fuel is not a choice we are ready to make just yet. There are too many unknowns. What if the aviation industry goes for methanol, too? How can we know that there’s enough to go around for everyone and that the price of it doesn’t skyrocket? We don’t want to end up in a situation where the shortage of some of the elements we need for our fuel trigger a “who is willing to pay most” competition between aviation and shipping, for instance. We need to keep investigating and assessing results on an ongoing basis before we make decisions that cannot be unmade.”


Ammonia, hydrogen, methanol

“We do already know a few things,” Jakob says about the renewable energy sources that will replace fossil fuel at DFDS. “We know which fuels have the biggest potential to work in shipping: ammonia, hydrogen, methanol. So far so good. And we know that we have until 2026/2027 to make a qualified choice of which fuels and vessels to go for. That’s our deadline: 2050 seems like an eternity away, but in an industry where a ship’s lifetime is about 25 years, the ones we purchase just five years from now will have a decisive effect on our ability to achieve our climate goals.


In a good position

If anyone in the industry can achieve this, I believe it is us,” Jakob says. “It’s engrained in our culture that we listen before we make decisions, and that’s vital at this stage. We also share openly and because of that, our partners share, too. We know which partners to seek out and we work with them every single day. Our open partnership approach puts us in a good position to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.”

How are you (really) doing?

The Covid-19 situation has caused substantial changes to the world and DFDS. Our local societies have been severely impacted by the pandemic, as has our business. As employees and organisations, we have experienced substantial changes in the way we work.

Many of us are working from home, and even though this helps reduce the risk of Covid-19, it can still have serious consequences for some colleagues. With the current development, it is unfortunately not possible to set an end-date for this situation.

We are naturally concerned about this, and it is important for us to know whether you feel that we, as a company, are doing the right things to handle the situation and the uncertainties it causes. We have therefore created a simple survey where we ask about your well-being. It aims to ensure we get input from you and other colleagues throughout our network, to get an understanding of your concerns.

The survey in the link below is voluntary, anonymous and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Based on this, we hope to get an overview of what issues we can address, to support you and help you thrive in the best way possible. We will end the survey by 23 September, so please complete it before then.

Local HR will be able to distribute the survey via personal emails for colleagues who do not have regular access to the Bridge. You can also access the survey via this QR code:

Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel

Chief People Officer

Go to survey

DFDS climate plan: next ten years

DFDS’ climate plan will make us climate neutral by 2050. Our short-term plan is to reduce emissions by 45 % from 2008 to 2030. Our main focus is on existing vessels and minor technical upgrades. We will use solutions like correct coating on vessel hulls and decision support systems onboard and in the office. But the fleet will also undergo major upgrades, with modifications of bulbs and propellers.

The plan is based on careful analysis of how we operate today, and which areas have the greatest potential for improvement. It is about evolution – improving and optimising what we have today – while the long term plan is more of a revolution – how we can do things in completely new ways.


Artificial intelligence will help us

Today, we have a monthly fuel report for our vessel operations, but no insights as to what is behind the numbers. We know what we use, but not how these figures are accumulated. Our crews and their shore-side support teams need better information on how they can operate in a more fuel-efficient way. For this, we will use a tool based on artificial intelligence (AI) that will monitor our vessel operations. This data will inform us about where we have excessive fuel consumption, both on routes and on individual vessels.

This new smart AI system located on the vessels’ bridge will give the crews qualified directions on what is the right speed and also real-time advice on which route will help the fuel on board last longer. After a crossing, there will be a report on what the crew has done well in terms of consuming fuel, and also where they can improve.


Promising results with methanol

We plan to introduce small amounts of methanol in the existing propulsion machinery on many of our vessels, in the four stroke engines that make up the majority of our fleet. Together with onsite-produced hydrogen, we will inject the methanol into combustion chambers, replacing up to 10-15% of the heavy fuel oil needed to fuel the same voyage today. This technology  is still under development and we expect it to be approved by engine manufacturers during 2020. We have already done initial testing and the results look promising.

Through doing this, we hope to be able to push the market demand for sustainable fuels like green methanol, one of several fuel sources we continue to investigate. This could have a positive ripple effect on the development of green fuel production nationally and internally.


More efficient hulls

Optimising our use of fuel is one very important factor when it comes to reducing emissions. Another is what we do to improve the hulls, coating and shaping of the propeller curves for a vessel to be able to sail in a more fuel-efficient manner.

“We are constantly scanning the market to pinpoint new ways of optimising what we have,” says Vice President of DFDS’ Technical Organisation Thomas Mørk. “We continuously assess where we should set in based on where we can harvest the greatest effect. The bottom line is that not only are we saving the environment from thousands of tons of CO2 every year, we are also able to work with fuel consumption in a smarter way. In time, this will help us run our vessels cheaper and greener and that just makes good business sense,” Thomas says.

Read more about DFDS’ ambitious climate plan

More on this in the coming weeks







DFDS develops ambitious climate plan

We want to become climate neutral by 2050 and are aiming for a relative reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by close to 45% from 2008 to 2030. That corresponds to an approximate reduction of 25-35% between 2019 and 2030. These are the main goals in DFDS’ new climate action plan.


In 2019, DFDS emitted ~2 million tons of CO2. 90% was from our vessels. Continuing to do so would have a negative impact on the environment and climate. It would also put us at significant economic risk: customers will find more climate-friendly suppliers and the costs related to regulatory requirements will increase.


DFDS’ response to this is a new strategic climate action plan that will make us climate neutral by 2050. We are aiming for a relative reduction of GHG emissions by close to 45% from 2008 to 2030. That corresponds to an approximate reduction of 25-35% between 2019 and 2030.


Team members from the Technical Organisation, Innovation & Partnerships, CSR, and Strategy & Consulting have supported management in the development of this plan, and the Executive Management Team will track its development on a quarterly basis.


Three tracks leading to the finish line
The  plan consists of two overall tracks covering the tonnage adaption in short term and long term, as well as a third track ‘getting the house in order’ that covers all other things like facilities and terminal equipment.


The short-term tonnage adaption plan consists of initiatives to be implemented throughout the next 10 years, resulting in close to 45% reduction from 2008 to 2030. It widely consists of minor technical upgrades, including solutions like the use of the correct coatings on vessel hulls and decision support systems. But the fleet will also undergo major upgrades, like modifications of bulbs and propellers.

The long-term tonnage adaption plan is all about how we replace fossil fuels with the new generation of zero emission fuel. The new sustainable fuels are renewable energy stored in the form of for instance ammonia, hydrogen, or methanol. Storing, handling and using these new fuels is very different to how we do things today. We need to learn a lot to be able to make the right strategic decisions. Projects and partnerships will help us learn and share knowledge and reach our goals. The long-term tonnage adaption plan focuses on our new generation of ships.


Getting the house in order addresses the remaining 10% of our total emissions. In short, emissions that don’t come from our vessel-related activities. Initiatives like electric trucks, energy consumption for buildings and hybrid/electric company cars will engage all our colleagues across the business in helping DFDS develop ways of becoming more sustainable. Many of these initiatives are done in cooperation with key suppliers to reduce environmental impact.


DFDS CEO Torben Carlsen says: “I am very happy that we now have this ambitious and comprehensive climate action plan in place. It clearly states how we can and will take responsibility for the environment. It will also help us stay relevant as a service provider in 10, 15, 50 years from now. With the support of every one of our employees, we will be able to turn this plan into reality and at the same time continue our existing efforts to support the environment and local communities.”


More on this in the coming weeks

Sustainable fuels: DFDS part of ambitious project

Today, DFDS, Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Moller – Maersk, DSV Panalpina, SAS and Ørsted informed the press about a unique partnership. The partnership’s vision is to develop a new ground-breaking hydrogen and e-fuel production facility in the Greater Copenhagen area as soon as 2023.

The project will require a large-scale supply of renewable electricity, which could potentially come from offshore wind power produced at Rønne Banke off the island of Bornholm.

When fully scaled-up by 2030, production would potentially be based on a total electrolyser capacity of 1.3 gigawatts, which would likely make it one of the world’s largest facilities of its kind. It could deliver more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuel, which would reduce annual carbon emissions by 850,000 tonnes.

The project is supported by the Municipality of Copenhagen and could supply renewable hydrogen for zero-emission busses, heavy-duty trucks, renewable methanol for ships, and renewable jet fuel for airplanes.

Industrial-scale production to reduce costs
To become competitive with fossil fuels, the production of sustainable fuels will need to be built at industrial scale. For this to happen, governments and industry must come together to create a framework that incentivises private investments in large-scale sustainable fuel production.

The vision is to develop the project in three stages:

The first stage, which could be operational by 2023, comprises a 10MW electrolyser which can produce renewable hydrogen used directly to fuel busses and trucks.

Stage two comprises a 250MW electrolyser facility which could be operational by 2027 when the first offshore wind power from Bornholm could be delivered. This facility would produce renewable methanol for maritime transport and renewable jet-fuel for the aviation sector.

Stage three, which could be operational by 2030 would upgrade the project’s electrolyser capacity to 1.3GW and capture more sustainable CO2, enough to supply more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuels.

“Sustainably produced hydrogen is the fundamental building block, and biggest cost driver of all the zero emission fuels. This project brings the scale that is needed in order to industrialise the production of green hydrogen, and thereby significantly reduce the cost of zero emission fuels for aviation, road transport and shipping. I really believe this is a strong step in the direction of a carbon neutral transport industry,” says Jakob Steffensen, Director of DFDS’ innovation department and DFDS’ member of the project group.

The partnership will now engage in dialogue with the regulatory authorities on the framework and policies needed to support the development of using sustainable fuels at scale in the transport sector in Denmark, and to seek public co-funding to conduct a full feasibility study of the project .

Torben Carlsen says: “The ability to establish a vision of an industrial-scale sustainable fuel production facility is due to the power of partnerships. The cooperation of fuel users and producers along with scientists and society is the fastest way to make sustainable fuels available as realistic alternatives to the fossil fuels we combust in our vehicles and vessels today. I hope that this partnership and our project will help us reach our goal of operating zero-emission ferries and trucks much faster than we had originally anticipated.”

See the full press release here.

DFDS Jubilee Fund supports colleagues in need

In 1916, DFDS celebrated its 50th anniversary by establishing the DFDS Jubilee Fund that financially supports employees of DFDS, former employees or the next of kin of deceased employees.

The support may also be granted to internal associations that support colleagues in need, or other associations with a relevance to DFDS.

Maximum support is DKK 50,000, and everyone in our network with a relationship to DFDS, as outlined above, may apply for support.

Online application
The applications will be considered twice a year by a board consisting of members of the Executive Management team.

As something new, the application form and all relevant information, including criteria for applying, deadlines and more can be found on under ‘About DFDS’ – or via this link: DFDS Jubilee Fund page

If you have any questions for the DFDS Jubilee Fund or making an application please contact

Climate FAQ now on

Poul Woodall, DFDS’ Director of Environment, answers your questions about our greenhouse gas reduction efforts with a FAQ on


Whereas our part of the world is facing a temporary slowdown, the long-term issues for our industry remains. A crucial element here, is the effort we put in to fighting climate change through greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

We have seen an increasing awareness among our business and leisure customers on climate gas issues and the flow of questions has been on the rise.

To improve our communication efforts in this area we have now launched a ‘greenhouse gas FAQ’ in the CSR section of Find it here.

On this page one will find the DFDS position to some commonly asked questions. We will naturally keep this page updated and try to ensure the most relevant questions are replied here.

We expect shortly to also include a ‘CO2 calculator’ which will provide the option of estimating the CO2 footprint for a transport in the DFDS network.

Any feedback and not least any suggestions for enhancing the list, ensuring it has the optimal value will be appreciated.

Reach out to the CSR team with your ideas.


Poul Woodall, DFDS’ Director of Environment

BU Med is targeting improved Health and Safety

Özge Süalp Altun is new Head of Health and Safety in BU Med.


BU Med is targeting improved HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) standards in operations as an important goal for 2020. As a new resource for this purpose, C. Özge Süalp Altun started her role as Head of HSE in BU Med on 3 February, reporting to Kemal Bozkurt, VP Operations for BU Med.

Özge will be working to improve standards on Health and Safety Management on terminals and vessels, aiming to establish a common monitoring, reporting and management approach within the unit. She is a “Class A Occupational Health & Safety Specialist” with experience in international working environments.

Kemal Bozkurt, VP Operations, says: “Following the unfortunate incident we had in Trieste back in October, 2019, we have launched an Health and Safety project to review and improve the HSE standards within our area of responsibility.”

“Detailed analysis and field inspections were conducted within the scope of the project. The action plan is being executed with most of it are already in place, and we are now restructuring the Health & Safety organisation to further strengthen our operational control in the field. I’m excited to see the contribution of Özge and wish her the best for her new endavour.”

Özge says, “I am very excited to be a member of such a big international family and I have felt the warm welcome from the very start. I’m also fully aware of the challenges ahead of me and I believe that I will contribute to the new Occupational Health and Safety structure with my experience and knowledge.”

Rescuing abandoned pets in Calais

Hear the story of César and the partnership with animal rescue LPA.


A partnership between DFDS and animal rescue charity LPA (Ligue de Protection des Animaux du Calais) in Calais helps animals left behind at the terminal. This greatly improves the rate and speed of adoption to avoid pets becoming strays.

Many animals, especially dogs, are sadly each year left behind by their owners at the Calais terminal, often because of problems with paperwork or vaccinations. Yaneth, Adam and their Boxer dog, Columbo, recently had trouble with their pet passport and received a helping hand from DFDS, but sometimes the misfortune is not solved, and an animal is left behind. One of them, German Shepherd César, was abandoned at Calais Port.

Watch the video for César’s story and see how the partnership with LPA works. It all came about after a DFDS member of staff in Calais became increasingly concerned about the fate of pets abandoned at Calais.

DFDS staff at the terminal have even taken abandoned pets home rather than see them become strays. One of the operations co-ordinators at Calais, Mélanie Declercq, decided to try to find a more practical solution, which is already making a difference.

Florent Dagbert, general manager of the LPA, Calais, says the DFDS partnership has meant they are able to help pets much more effectively: “Because they already have papers, the animals do not have to be kept in quarantine, isolated from people and other dogs, for months. The partnership with DFDS allows us to adopt animals more quickly and easily.”

DFDS signs gender equality charter

Transport and shipping are male dominated industries and even though things have improved in recent years, there is still a significant lack of female employees and leaders.

DFDS is getting closer with 29% women in positions ashore and 18% at sea. However, there is still a significant lack of women in leading positions, even though the Executive Management Team has become more balanced recently.

There is a strong will to increase the share of women. Therefore, DFDS, along with other Danish shipping companies, signed a charter that obliges the companies to actively focus on gender equality. And this is not because it looks nice on paper:

“We need to do something about this to become a better company that makes better decisions. All research documents that you need to reach a level where the underrepresented gender makes out a third of the team before you get equal and balanced discussions,” says Torben Carlsen.

“We need to attract more of the female talents from other industries. Today, they usually do not choose a maritime career,” he says.

“I am very happy about the charter. I think we are doing a lot at DFDS. Diversity is a corner stone in our CSR strategy that is supported by the Executive Management Team and the Board of Directors. How to improve the gender was a key issue at the recent Annual Management Conference and VP seminars, and recently, all VP’s have developed 3 years plan for how to improve diversity in general, in their organisations. It doesn’t change overnight, but when the entire shipping community pushes the agenda, it will certainly speed up development,” says Sofie Hebeltoft, Director of our CSR department

“The charter is very good news. I believe that with gender equality at the top of the shipping community’s agenda, it will send a strong signal and invitation to female talents that they are wanted in our business and that we can offer them a great work environment and prosperous career opportunities,” says Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel, Chief People Officer, EVP.

Watch Danish Shipping’s video about gender equality here.

See Danish Shipping’s charter here.


Hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming popular

Left: Alvydas Mačius, Terminal Operations Manager in Klaipėda, charges their electric Nissan. Right: Julie Walker, Security Manager and Jason Norfolk, Security Officer, posing with three new electric vans for the Immingham security team


Many locations are replacing their old petrol- and diesel-powered company cars with electric and hybrid options. Recently the Immingham Terminal security team took delivery of three electric vans to join in the move to support DFDS’ CSR strategy and the aim of reducing emissions. A positive trend is accelerating, confirms Head of CSR Sofie Hebeltoft.


At DFDS, our colleagues often have the need to get around, whether it’s for security, terminal duties or meetings, so we have quite a few company cars. However, as most of the use is for short distances and is irregular rather than constant, there is a great case for using hybrid and electric cars and vans in our company fleet.

Fortunately, we can report that the use of these vehicles at DFDS is increasing at a high rate. When the infrastructure is in place, these types of vehicles have proven popular with our locations, as demonstrated by the many purchase orders and leases.

Immingham recently took delivery of three fully electric vans for the security team in an effort to further reduce our CO2 footprint at the terminal. They will be used by the team for their daily duties, and to provide increased capacity for moving equipment. This supports our terminal operations staff in ensuring that security is maintained.

Lee Bayliss, Director of Health, Safety & Security in Immingham, says: “This is a real shift in how we use vehicles at our terminals. Historically we have procured diesel-powered vehicles, which at low speeds churn out large deposits of CO2 and don’t run well over time. The procurement of the new vans reaffirms our commitment and support of the CSR strategy in reducing unnecessary carbon emissions. With no NOx particles coming from the electric motors, this positively impacts our environmental footprint within our area of responsibility, as these pollutants affect the health of those working around them.”

A clear trend at our locations

The numbers we received show that quite a few locations have one or two electric or hybrid vehicles, while many others have a handful. In Sweden the transition is expected to be almost total as the older petrol- or diesel-powered vehicles are replaced.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “We see a clear trend at our locations as our colleagues in many parts of the business report that the number of electric and hybrid company cars is increasing via new purchases and leasing agreements.”

“In the UK and Northern Ireland alone, we lease 40 hybrid or electric vehicles for our company fleet. As an example, this represents approximately half of the cars in use by terminal staff, security and managers. In the UK there are tax benefits in using electric and hybrid company cars, which of course boosts adoption. This year we are going to look at the DFDS company car policy to support the change from diesel to hybrid and electric options.”

In several locations where it isn’t currently possible to charge electric or hybrid cars, work is being done to remedy this. It includes infrastructure, port arrangements and green sources of electricity. In just a few weeks, DFDS House in Copenhagen will have two charging stations for use by both employees and guests. With currently four hybrids and one electric van on location plus personal vehicles, this is very welcome.

Reports confirming the trend have come in from: Sweden, UK & Northern Ireland, Gothenburg Terminal, Logistics Immingham, Kiel Terminal, Vlaardingen, Klaipėda, Dover, Peterborough, Copenhagen and more. Thanks to all who have reported back so far.

Incept Sustainability offers free e-learning

All DFDS employees can sign up to four short sessions with Incept Sustainability about working with sustainability in mind.


Last summer we invited the start-up company Incept Sustainability to hold a workshop in DFDS House about working with sustainability in mind. Their presentation and material were very well received by participants.

As part of developing their tools, the company now offers all DFDS employees free access to their new web-based learning modules. Taken in four 30-minute sessions, the topics include the environmental situation, social aspects and business opportunities. These cover: making sustainable decisions, UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, emission evaluation methods, and much more. If you missed out on the 2019 workshop in Copenhagen, you’re in luck.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “This is your opportunity to learn more about sustainability, both in general and in relation to DFDS. Through the program it will also be possible for the participants to provide me with input about what you think is most relevant for your work and for DFDS.”

Fill out the form below to receive access to the modules, which will run through the course of February 2020. If you have any questions, please write to Sofie Hebeltoft at

Sign up here.

Klaipėda colleagues give blood for the holidays

Holiday blood drive helps local patients in need. From left: Goda Baltuonė, Vaidas Krūmas and Robertas Kogelis


Vaidas Krūmas and Goda Baltuonė, Category Managers from Baltic Onboard Sales team, invited DFDS staff at Klaipėda offices to join a good cause – to donate blood to those who need it most.
Doctors and nurses at Klaipėda branch of the National Blood Centre were very happy to welcome DFDS staff. They noted a general increase in donations for the month of November by generous Klaipėda citizens, our colleagues included, with 1,177 donations in total.

Goda says: “Christmas time is a period when staff at the centre are in urgent need of donations. Vaidas and I felt we needed to raise awareness and encourage colleagues to join this initiative where we can help others and save lives. There are local DFDS staff who regularly visit this centre, however as an example, this initiative encouraged Robertas Kogelis to overcome small fears and donate blood for the first time in his life.”

“It wasn‘t as scary as it may seem,“ adds Robertas Kogelis, Director Onboard Sales Baltic Sea.

DFDS Polska support fundraising for child with a brain tumour

DFDS Polska organise cake sales to raise money for 6-year-old Jasiu Woźniak

The Christmas period is a special time of the year, where among all this chaos of buying presents and finishing all our important festive stuff, there is also a bit of time for reflection and taking part in charity events.

This year in DFDS Polska we have an opportunity to help one of our employee’s family – 6-year-old Jasiu Woźniak – in raising funds (more than 700.000EUR is required) for his lifesaving brain tumour treatment.

As always in such cases, time is crucial, therefore we decided to organise on Wednesday 11 December in DFDS Polska building, a bake sale during which we were collecting money for his treatment. We were selling homemade cakes prepared by DFDS Polska employees and encouraging everyone from the many business in our building to share our initiative via social media and help us towards the financial goal. The action was really well received, and we would like to thank all those who baked delicious cakes and contributed to the success of the event:
@Marta Norkiewicz, @Patrycja Brzezinska, @Katarzyna Gizińska, @Magdalena Plonka, @Joanna Kicinska, @Anna Sut, @Agnieszka Plichcińska, @Marta Przybyl, @Katarzyna Jankiewicz, @Aleksandra Appelt, @Monika Brzoska, @Weronika Branicka,@Karol Janochowski

The goal of 700.000 EUR is a long way from being reached, but encouraged by the success of our cake sale, we decided to organise it again on Wednesday morning 18 December.

We are aware that with such a huge collection it’s important to engage as many people as possible. There are other local initiatives in Poznań city which are already taking place, so if anyone else would like to join us and support, please share via your social media profiles and link to the official fundraising site for Jasiek:

We all believe that even though the treatment is extremely expensive and not affordable by any individual, by sharing, engaging and collaborating – especially with the festive spirit – it will save Jasiek’s life and we may all be part of it.

Christmas lunch for homeless once again a heart-warming event

Part of DFDS’ CSR strategy is to support local community engagement, and one of the original initiatives in this area is the annual Christmas lunch for homeless men and women in Copenhagen and Oslo.

On Tuesday 3 December, DFDS once again invited 250 of Copenhagen’s homeless people on board Pearl Seaways to enjoy a wonderful Christmas lunch. This year marked the 10th anniversary of this tradition, and the ship was bursting with Christmas spirit from Mr and Mrs Santa Claus, the VoiceZone choir and much more.

Stine Rysgaard Jensen from the Marketing Brand team says: “Ten years ago, it all started as an idea among the employees on board Pearl. Today, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without it! I’m really happy to be part of it, and despite the fact that time changes, the DFDS Christmas lunch for the homeless doesn’t. Its ‘same procedure as last year’ – every year – because it works, and the homeless men and women look forward to it long before Christmas. It is truly heart-warming to see how much they enjoy this event and how grateful they are.”

As an extra add on – in relation to the 10th anniversary – ahead of this year’s event, colleagues in DFDS House made contributions which were spent on new jackets and Christmas presents for 24 men and women at the RG60 youth shelter in Copenhagen.

Stine says: “A huge thank you for all your contributions! This year we’ve made a little video to show you what went on in all the preparations for the event. A way of giving you an introduction to the happiness that 250 homeless people can feel when being welcomed back ‘home’ on Pearl. We hope you enjoy it.”

The importance of a diverse DFDS

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, outlines the work being done for diversity in DFDS.


At DFDS, we have put diversity high on the agenda.
We have come a long way in highlighting the gender gap at DFDS and within the industry, and the relatively few women in management positions.

We believe it is of great benefit to keep working on this, but we can also benefit from working with other kinds of diversity, such as age, ethnicity, religion, education, personality and much more.

Colleagues with different perspectives can, for instance, be helpful in problem-solving and decision-making when knowledge and different points of view are shared.

We also face a potential shortage of qualified staff, and so it is crucial to see the potential in everyone. Otherwise, we will exclude ourselves from a big pool of potential colleagues.

Working towards targets

Over the last year we have worked actively with diversity at DFDS, including:

• Workshops across the business
• Core committee focusing on the topic
• Activities for Pride
• Job decoder focusing on gender bias in job postings
• Identifying role models and best practice stories from DFDS locations everywhere

Across DFDS, we have set a target of a 30/70 gender split at the following levels:

• The Board
• Senior management (Executive Management Team and Vice Presidents)
• Managers
• Employees in general

All VPs are in the process of setting targets for their areas of the business for the short, medium and long terms: one, three and five years respectively.

These targets can apply to gender diversity as well as other forms of diversity, so no matter what the specific circumstances are, it is possible to put together an ambitious plan. A summary of the VP’s plans and targets will then be presented to the Executive Management Team, who will assist with shaping the direction of the plans.

Changing the gender split, for example, will not happen overnight. In many cases, it is as much a change of culture as it is a management decision.

However, it is important, which is why we are going to keep working at it and improve as a company to fulfil our purpose – We move for all to grow.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR

DFDS welcomed press to scrubber event

Last week DFDS, in collaboration with Clean Ship Alliance 2020, welcomed 11 journalists from various international trade publications on board Freesia Seaways and in the Ghent terminal. DFDS’ hosts were Poul Woodall, Director of Environment, and Sam de Wilde, Managing Director of Ferry Belgium.

The purpose of the visit was to give the guests a first-hand impression of a marine scrubber – an event that coincided with the 10th anniversary of the initial scrubber installation on Ficaria Seaways.

Following a tour of Freesia, which included a front row view of the drone testing highlighted in a recent article, the group was hosted at the North Sea Ports visitors centre where various presentations were made by DFDS, North Sea Ports and Clean Shipping Alliance 2020.

Lunch was enjoyed while sailing around the harbour and ended with seeing Freesia Seaways steaming up the river on its way back to Gothenburg.

The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) represents a group of leading companies from the commercial and passenger shipping industries that have been leaders in emission control efforts.